Vienna, 26 October 2005 Press release

50 years of Austrian commitment to freedom and security in the world


Foreign Minister Plassnik on Austria’s National Holiday

Vienna, 26 October 2005 - "With its decision to embark on neutrality 50 years ago, Austria laid one of the foundations for freedom, prosperity and security in the heart of Europe. From the outset, Austria shaped its neutrality in a pro-active manner: Austria joined the UN as early as December 1955, reflecting the fact that it was prepared to assume concrete responsibility in the community of states. Our country has consistently supported the keeping and safeguarding of peace ever since. Austria’s participation in numerous UN peace missions, in particular, has earned us recognition throughout the world", said Plassnik.

Plassnik also referred to the changes in the formulation of Austria’s foreign policy in the course of the past 50 years: "50 years ago Austria’s neutrality was the basis for freedom and peace in the midst of the Cold War. Today, we also contribute to European solidarity and a common, united and strong Europe continues to be our vision for freedom, security and prosperity also in the future," added Plassnik.

The missions of the European Union in South-Eastern Europe and Austria’s contribution to them were of central importance to the work on the European peace project. "In Bosnia and in Kosovo a total of 900 Austrian soldiers are contributing to stability and the building up of a functioning state system", said Plassnik.

"60 years ago Austria received help in the liberation and reconstruction of our country. Today it’s us who are helping", concluded Plassnik.

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